Most years racers flock to this area for the Wild West Fest. It was canceled in 2020 but is set to take place in 2021. We took a morning to ride the trails out at Grindstone Lake where part of the race takes place usually. Our ride was 19.4 miles with 2096′ of climbing.
Starting high above the lake at a neighborhood trailhead we began by climbing up Alfred Hale Trail to the Grindstone Mesa Loop. The climb is on pretty narrow singletrack that switchbacks up onto the mesa. This trail is perfectly built with a nice steady grade up. Along the way we marveled at how many different plants, trees, and bushes make up the forest.
The Grindstone Mesa Loop is fast and flowy through the forest with short rock garden sections to keep things interesting. The sights and smells of this sweet forest amazed me. We turned off on the Grindstone Ridge Trail for a fast descent down swithcbacks, around berms and through root and rock sections. Somewhere back here we came upon a pack of horses!
Views of the lake from the ridge kept us grinning because we knew we had to get down to lake level before the climb back up. Downhill is always fun! Once we did get down to the lake, we continued on trail around the edge of it before starting the climb back up. We deviated from the traditional loop back here, in that we took the steep connector trail to get back up to the mesa to continue downhill back to the start.
I was shocked we didn’t see any other cyclists the entire ride because these trails are very fun.
Tonight is roasted sweet potato and chickpea bowls and for dessert is pineapple upside down cake! Oh that chef Derek.